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Re: Getting Involved

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  • avineswar
    ... Mahayana Buddhism at ... reading Geshe Michael ... new sphere of knowing ... health issues in Florida. Now ... there, NYC, and Florida ... becoming too
    Message 1 of 6 , Apr 17, 2007
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      --- In Buddhism_101@yahoogroups.com, "knightwrit" <knightwrit@...>
      > Greetings, my name is Aurin Squire. I recently began studying
      Mahayana Buddhism at
      > Three Jewels in New York City. In the late fall of 2005 I began
      reading Geshe Michael
      > Roach's "The Diamond Cutter" and ever since then it's like a whole
      new sphere of knowing
      > has opened up.
      > Also the past year, I've been traveling a lot because of family
      health issues in Florida. Now
      > I'm taking a job in Albuquerque where I'll be traveling between the
      there, NYC, and Florida
      > and also throughout the southwest.
      > I'm a little bit worried about diluting the power of the dharma or
      becoming too loose.
      > Anyone have any suggestions or scripture that would help with what
      to do when on-the-
      > go?
      > Best,
      > Aurin Squire

      please visit the website www.vri.dhamma.org and take up a 10 day
      course at Igatpuri,India.There is a pagoda at Igatpuri where each one
      is provided an artificial cave to meditate.The teachings are the one
      provided by Buddha in its original form
    • knightwrit
      Thank you for the response. I m traveling light but I like to read a lot. For books I don t have, I m starting to compile a list to order and just have them
      Message 2 of 6 , Apr 18, 2007
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        Thank you for the response. I'm traveling light but I like to read a
        lot. For books I don't have, I'm starting to compile a list to order
        and just have them shipped to Albuquerque. Right now I'm going
        through the several texts in relation to Je Tsongkapa and the
        Tibetan Book of the Dead, which I just bought after reading the
        commentary book: Tibetan Book of the Living and Dying.

        I'm a slow reader because I like to run through something fast and
        then read it again, but then go sentence-by-sentence. How I studied
        in college.

        I will definitely add this to the list of books to order. Thank you.

        With Compassion,

        Aurin Squire

        --- In Buddhism_101@yahoogroups.com, "John Pellecchia" <pellejf@...>
        > Dear Aurin,
        > It's a pleasure to meet you and welcome to the group.
        > I doubt if it's possible to "dilute the power of the Dharma" but
        > certainly could lose your focus if you don't maintain your
        > My first suggestion would be to set aside some time each day to
        > yourself by meditation and any formalized prayers and mantras you
        > recite. Miss a day and you'll miss a lot.
        > In regard to suggesting scripture to take along with you that's a
        > little more problematic. It depends, I would imagine, on weight
        > constraints and size since you say you'll be on the move a lot. You
        > may want to consider the text "Buddhist Wisdom: The Diamond Sutra
        > The Heart Sutra" by Edward Conze. I'm suggesting it since it
        > two core sutras to Buddhism as well as a commentary on each. It's
        > necessarily "better" than another translation but traditionally a
        > sutra without a commentary is considered to be incomplete. If this
        > not available you may want to consider "Essence of the Heart
        Sutra" by
        > The Dalai Lama (Wisdom Publications). It has only one sutra with
        > commentary but the author has some credibility (smile).
        > Another easy-to-carry suggestion is "The Dhammapada" translated by
        > Ananda Maitreya (Parallax Press). I'm particularly partial to it
        > it fits easily into a pocket and is highly readable.
        > If size, weight, (money ?) are not issues and if you are looking
        > texts other than those in the canon -- well, there are a lot of
        > by highly respected masters that could be recommended. In any case,
        > spend some time in a bookstore to see if what suits your needs as
        > as compare them to other texts. A book that sits on a shelf unread
        > of no benefit.
        > If you look into the files and database sections to this site
        > find additional recommendations both of other sites, texts, and
        > downloadable pdfs you may find of interest while you're on the
        > Hopefully you'll have a laptop with you so you can keep in touch.
        > May all be at peace.
        > John
        > --- In Buddhism_101@yahoogroups.com, "knightwrit" <knightwrit@>
        > wrote in part:
        > > I'm a little bit worried about diluting the power of the dharma
        > becoming too loose. Anyone have any suggestions or scripture that
        > would help with what to do when on-the-go?
      • John Pellecchia
        Dear Aurin, Since you re having texts sent to your new address and you re apparently a voracious reader, allow me to submit a few other texts (and spend some
        Message 3 of 6 , Apr 19, 2007
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          Dear Aurin,

          Since you're having texts sent to your new address and you're
          apparently a voracious reader, allow me to submit a "few" other texts
          (and spend some of your money [smile]) you may find of value. They
          were recommended to me from a master in a home study group and I
          purchased most of them and found them to be of immense value and

          "...In response to my reply to him, John Pellecchia requested that I
          make some book suggestions to the group that might help elucidate some
          of the points he was questioning regarding rebirth and immortality, as
          well as other books that might be of some value as general references
          in your studies. Here are some books that you may want to explore:

          (1) For the topic of death and rebirth, the book I mentioned by His
          Holiness (The Meaning of Life, published by Wisdom) is a good concise
          exploration of the way in which we perpetuate our stay in samsara as
          well as other aspects of the Buddhist world view. Specifically on the
          subject of the stages of the death process, His Holiness' Advice on
          Dying and Living a Better Life (Atria Books) goes into a quite
          detailed explanation of that.

          (2) The subject of death and rebirth is also dealt with in most lam
          rim (stages of the path) texts, which also generally contain a wealth
          of detail on the topics of karma, bodhichitta, emptiness, and many
          other subjects that you will most likely run across in your studies.
          For those of you who haven't studied those topics in a program such as
          Discovering Buddhism, here are some possibilities of lam rim texts for
          your consideration:

          (a) In the Discovering Buddhism course, the lam rim text used is
          Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand, which is a teaching given by
          Pabongka Rinpoche in the early 1920's (there is a translation of the
          entire text in a single volume published by Wisdom Publications).

          (b) There is a three-volume translation of the monumental "lam rim
          chenmo," Lama Tsongkhapa's Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to
          Enlightenment, published by Snow Lion, although it might be difficult
          in parts without some commentary to accompany it.

          (c) To accompany those, there is a set of five volumes of
          commentary on Lama Tsongkhapa's text from Geshe Lhundub Sopa that is
          in the works at Wisdom Publications (only two of them have been
          published so far), called Steps on the Path to Enlightenment, and
          these are truly amazing teachings that are essential to getting the
          full impact of the Great Treatise. These commentaries can be used
          without the three volumes of the actual text if you wish, although
          it's nice to have both.

          (d) If you don't want to invest in quite so many books, there is a
          single volume commentary on Lama Tsongkhapa's Great Treatise by Yangsi
          Rinpoche called Practicing the Path (Wisdom Publications), and here
          too, you need not have the three volumes of the actual text to get a
          lot out of this book.

          (d) For those of you in Australia (or any of the rest of you who
          are willing to pay a bit more to obtain it in other parts of the
          world), there is an excellent "modern" lam rim text written by Geshe
          Acharya Thubten Loden, called Path to Enlightenment in Tibetan
          Buddhism and published by Tushita Publications.

          (e) And there are a few other "shorter" lam rim texts that might
          be helpful although they do not have all the detail of the ones above,
          such as The Path to Enlightenment by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and
          Path to Bliss also by His Holiness (both of these are published by
          Snow Lion).

          (3) Specifically on the subject of emptiness, there are a few books
          that I can recommend, although some of these may be challenging:

          (a) A good introduction to the subject that is relatively easy to
          read is Gen Lamrimpa's Realizing Emptiness, published by Snow Lion.

          (b) Another book that the Masters Program students found to be
          indispensible in our studies is Jeffrey Hopkins' Meditation on
          Emptiness, published by Wisdom. It has a wealth of information within
          it in addition to detailed explanations on emptiness and meditation,
          although some parts of it may be quite difficult to read for some people.

          (c) Jeffrey Hopkins also wrote a more accessible (though still not
          easy!) book called Emptiness Yoga, published by Snow Lion.

          (4) For any of the other individual subjects that you are studying, I
          believe you should have a specific "recommended reading list" with
          each course to help elucidate the text you are studying. If not,
          please let me know.

          (5) Finally, John mentioned some English language translations of the
          sutras of the Buddha that he was using and wondering if I could
          recommend anything in that area. I have to admit that I haven't spent
          so much time with the sutras themselves - even in the MP, although
          there were many references to various sutras, pretty much all of our
          time was spent with commentaries by Indian and Tibetan masters, and
          not with the actual sutras. In general, I find them quite difficult
          to work with since, without some sort of commentary, their meaning can
          be hard to discern at times. So, due to my limited exposure in that
          area, I really can't recommend any particular books of sutra
          translations - sorry! On this subject, it is worth noting that the
          lam rim tradition in Tibet was initiated as a way to encapsulate the
          essential teachings of the Buddha in a way that would allow
          practitioners to easily comprehend and practice the stages of the path
          to enlightenment since combing through the sutras for those essential
          points can be a wearisome task!

          I'm sure there are other books that might help out but the above list
          is hopefully a good place to start."

          I sincerely this is of some help and doesn't "break the bank."

          May all be at peace.

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